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Ten Medical School Interview Tips

You finally got the notice that your interview for medical school is set! The time and date have been put aside for you to take that last step to get into medical school. Are you ready? Are you really ready to ace that medical school interview?

These tips can help you prepare for the interview. Being ready for the interview is half the battle. Knowing how to handle the interview will quell those butterflies that everyone gets when they realize that this interview is the one that will open doors for them.

Before you head to the interview clean up your social media accounts (you should have done this already but if not, now is the time to do it). It is not unheard of for schools to look at a prospective students social media account to get a feel for them.

Tip # 1

Be honest! Above all else answer the questions honestly (within reason). Honesty is always the best policy BUT and its a big but ,do use your good common sense. There is no need to reveal that you like to swim naked after drinking beer with your buddies when asked what your favorite past time is. Of course if you are asked what your field of interest is within medicine and you do not know yet it is fine to say “I don't know” you do not have to make something up. As a matter of fact you should not make something up.  Just answer the questions straight forward. If you have anything that you may have to explain like maybe your grades slipped a bit during one of your semesters be prepared to answer. Remember the interview panel already has a lot of information about you, you just need to explain what they already know.

Tip # 2

Be up on your game! Show a little enthusiasm. Being a physician takes a lot of hard work and dedication, go in with your best face on. Smile. Be positive. Show that this is what you want and you are ready to put in the work for it.

Tip # 3

Be respectful! This is the time to use your good manners. Acknowledge everyone at the interview. Be courteous to everyone you meet along the way to your interview from the guy in the elevator to the lady at the front desk. You never know who you may be talking to so put your best face forward to everyone you meet along the way or you risk being “that” person that was rude to the lady at the front desk who happens to be married to the head of the board. You just never know so err on the side of caution and smile and be respectful to everyone.

Tip # 4

Be humble! If you got an outstanding score on your MCATS good for you but now is not the time to puff up your chest and look for your atta boys. Now is the time to simply say thank you to anyone that mentions what a great score you got. It can be hard to eat humble pie but if you want to get into this medical school you better have your fork out and be ready to dig into that humble pie because pointing out how lucky the school is to snag you is not getting you that coveted spot.

Tip # 5

Practice makes perfect! Get a book or look online for the most commonly asked questions than get a friend or family member help you to practice your responses. Ask your practice partner to make note of any improvements that you need to make. You want to be confident without being arrogant. You want your body language to convey that you are relaxed. Work at it.

Tip # 6

Don't fidget! You speak volumes without ever saying a word. Keep your hands in your lap or hang on to that portfolio you brought but don't cross your arms, tap your finger, cover your face with your hands, just sit with your hands relaxed. You also do not want to bounce your leg. It is distracting and sends out a clear signal that you are uptight and feel unprepared.

Tip # 7

Dress the part! Think conservative church clothes when you head for your interview. Grey, blue, black or brown are all good color choices. Nothing to loud and nothing to revealing or tight. It will be a distraction at the interview and not looked upon in a positive manner.

Tip # 8

Engage the panel! It is important that you do not just sit there and answer questions. You want to engage the panel so prepare questions that you want to ask.  They always ask if you have any questions. You can ask questions about the curriculum or the research opportunities or the field that you are interested in but do be sure to ask some questions otherwise you will look like you are not that interested in their program.

Tip #9

Don't bring your cell phone! It may be tempting to think that I will just silence my phone and stick it in my pocket but don't do it. Taking this simple step of leaving your phone behind can be the deciding factor between you and another applicant. You can be remembered as the candidate with the phone in their pocket that kept buzzing or you can be remembered as the person that took the interview so seriously that they left their phone elsewhere.

Tip # 10

Say thank you! It is perfectly acceptable for you to send out thank you notes to the panel members. It shows that you really do appreciate the opportunity AND it also may win one of them over that may not have been team U. It is just a nice thing to do and you should do it. You will be remembered fondly.

Follow these tips and ace your interview!